A tropical depression that formed east of the Philippines on Thursday has gathered enough strength to become a storm and is expected to rage over the East Vietnam Sea this weekend.
The depression picked up enough strength to become tropical storm Tokage Tokage around 7:00 am Friday morning in the central Philippine islands, creating winds of between 60 and 75kph and squalls of up to 100kph, the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting reported.
The typhoon is predicted to travel northwest west at average velocities of 15 to 20kph, continuing to increase in strength, the center added.
Storm Tokage is forecast to enter the East Vietnam Sea on Saturday approximatley 500 kilometers northeast of Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago with estimated wind speeds of 60 to 90kph and squalls of up to 117kph.
Meteorologists expect the typhoon to travel northeast before heading north at 10 to 15kph in velocity, gathering more strength.
By Sunday, Tokage is anticipated to pound an area 580 kilometers east of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, with its strongest winds reaching 102kph.
According to Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, the typhoon will have little influence mainland Vietnam, however, the circulation of the storm, combined with an enhanced cold front, may cause heavy rains in central Vietnam between November 29 and December 4.